In today’s video we look at the best dumbbell exercises for chest. We’re going to focus on several areas of training: from strength, to power as well as hypertrophy and a few others you’d expect along with the best way to train adduction of the chest muscles.

First we cover strength. The key here is that we actually have two non-dumbbell exercises that have their own benefits and those are the bench press and the weighted dip. While both are fantastic moves for building bigger pecs (as well as shoulders and triceps) there is a unique advantage that the dip has when you convert it to a dumbbell only option that the bench press lacks, and that is maintained stability and better carryover of the load.

Since strength training should be focused on safely lifting heavier and adhering to progressive overload you do not want to not have to sacrifice shoulder stability if you can avoid it. When moving to the dumbbell version of the bench press you will often find that your shoulder instability from holding separate dumbbells is going to undercut your overall strength to a much greater degree than what would happen with a dip. Strap a dumbbell up to a dip belt and keep pushing the heavy loads that are already additive to the weight of your own body.

Next we focus on power. The element of speed is critical to maximizing the effect of power training for our chest. Here as well, you want to try and find a way that you can release the load during the repetition to realize true power development. If you chose a dumbbell bench press and opted to accelerate the weight as fast as possible you would find that your body actually inherently slows the weight down as you approach full extension as a protective mechanism for the joints and to prepare for the next rep.

Performing an explosive plyo tap pushup allows you to fully express your power by accelerating through the rep, unhindered by the length of your arm as in the bench press.

For hypertrophy you want to explore eccentric muscle damage. The best way to do this is with the floor fly. Pick up a pair of dumbbells and press them to the top as you would with a normal bench press. Then slowly lower them as in a fly, concentrating on the eccentric lowering of the weights to put the stress on the pecs. Because you can cheat the rep to the top and don’t have to worry about the health of your shoulder because of the floor, you can actually use heavier than normal weight here to maximize the muscle growth effect even more.

We always want to keep an eye on the correctives on this channel as well. In the case of the chest you can use your dumbbells as a method of lightly overweighting a chest stretch. Here we want to stretch the pec minor, which is a muscle that can get tight and pull your shoulders up and forward which ruins your posture and shoulder integrity when it does. Lie on a foam roller and place your arms in the position shown with the dumbbells in your hand to get a nice stretch on the pec minor and prevent tightness from occurring.

Included are a few other exercises to emphasize adduction of the arm with dumbbells, which we know is a key function of the chest that doesn’t get hit with just bench press, pushups and dips. Also, a total body option that reinforces the mechanics of the thoracic spine that has carryover to other areas of our training as well.

Give these exercises a shot whenever you don’t have access to the standard barbell moves or just want to an extra challenge. If you are looking for a complete program that will help you to not only build strong, muscular shoulders but also develop a complete athletic body, be sure to hit the link below and grab one of the ATHLEAN-X Training Systems.

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    49 replies to "The BEST Dumbbell Exercises – CHEST EDITION!"

    • Productive You

      _Technically_ you have to use more than a dumbbell because, as we know, every workout ends with facepulls 😉

      • A. V.

        @Chadlord one more come on!!!! WHATEVER. IT. TAKES!!

      • TheNuker


      • Faisal Ismail

        @Bane hahaha

      • High Thriving Health


    • mdk1983

      Packed with useful information and demonstration as always. Thanks Jeff, really appreciate it.

    • Hal Gould

      As someone who works out at home, I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate these videos. You are the man Jeff!!

    • ppopp

      This dumbell series is perfect Jeff!! I stopped going to the gym six months ago and bought some dumbells. I only workout at home and I tried a bunch of different stuff the extra ideas you provide are invaluable. Thanks a lot man!

    • Raya Fahreza

      Thank you for this. I only have a bench and dumbells at home and I don’t have cables and pro gym gear, so I been hoping for this kind of tips. I think many other people are also the same.

      • biggest pac fan alive

        Same here ✌

      • Bistro Clancy

        Do you have an area for dips in your home? just curious, I thought that was a big whiff on the part of this video…. why even suggest it 🤷‍♂️

      • Napper N

        @Bistro Clancy Does your kitchen counter/worktop have cornering? You can do dips on there or get two chairs

    • Rosendo Tansinsin

      I especially like the last 2 exercises. I have been using the over the head one for a while. I look forward to trying the lower across the body dumbbell exercise. Thank you, Jeff.

    • The WiseGuy

      I’m 40 and in the best shape of my life…always wanted to say that. Thanks Jeff!

      • Omar Othman

        @John Spry [Staff] Imagine responding to such a comment. Truly sad.

      • PahEz

        @MrTash1983 yeah no

      • Fallacy Wrecker

        Awesome. Same with me at 35

      • Bistro Clancy

        I’m sure you aren’t eternally 40…. you should update this comment so as to not lie to people, its dishonest

      • Michael A

        @Why so serious How about now?

    • Mike Daciuk

      Great content Jeff. You always explain each exercise so well.

    • Shawn Peterson

      I’ve been lifting for 10 years now, and I have never thought of these exercises or heard of them anywhere else. amazing information and I’m excited to try some of these out today on my chest and arm day training. Thank you

    • Perou

      Dude, that’s so much information…for free

      This channel is gold

      • Milan

        I was your 1k like I mean lmao

      • Perou

        @Milan i know, thnx 🙂

      • Walter White


      • German English Engineer

        Watch 15 seconds worth of the ads and you are actually paying Jeff. Just not from your bank account. Youtube paid by the ad and he gets a cut.

      • Bistro Clancy

        ?????? i can’t even do the majority of these exercises… USELESS!

    • Carberryi

      01:16 Strength: 02:50 Weighted dumbbell dip (Optional: 01:25 Barbell bench press, 01:39 Weighted dip)
      03:16 Power: 04:15 Plyo dumbbell tap (03:30 Optional: Slide push away)
      05:00 Hypertrophy: 05:35 Eccentric floor fly
      06:31 Metabolic: 06:57 Dumbbell bench press
      07:54 Total body: 08:19 Bench press up
      09:44 Corrective: 10:36 Pec minor stretch
      11:35 Adduction 12:13 Dumbbell UCV raise & 12:51 Cavalier cross over

      • Janidu Virunaka

        Thanks man

      • Kingg Gray


      • Joshua Romano

        @Miovic Dovla I do 4 sets of 10 but you can do whatever u want

      • German English Engineer

        I can’t imagine ever doing a plyo tap but strange things happen. Bouncing your body weight up high enough with your arms that you have enough time for a split second to tap without falling on your face. Only a person benching easily twice their body weight can force it up in the air can get the appropriate torque to do the extra foot extension. I am 155 lbs. Thinking about 300 ft lbs of torque would do it.

      • HWY 1 RC

        Thanks man

    • K Kennington

      It’s rare anymore after over a decade of training people that I learn anything useful in a youtube video but I have to say I pick up something useful in every one of Jeff’s. Great stuff

    • Mitchell Collins

      Weighted Dip 1:40 2:27
      Push-up w/ plyo tap 4:16
      Eccentric Floor Fly 5:35
      Dumbbell Benchpress 6:57
      Dumbbell Benchpress-up 8:19 9:13
      Pec. Minor posture-correction exercise 10:37 – 11:22
      Dumbbell UCV raise 12:14 / ‘low approach’ 12:51

      • Grant Armbruster

        Bless you.

      • A. Davin Rulli P.


      • Ryan Mozaffari


      • Dogly 777


      • fallingbed


    • Joe Cutshaw

      Jeff I have to say, after my hip injury and rehab I have never had better success in the gym than when I incorporated your dumbbell routines. No getting under heavy barbells. Just safe gains. Thanks again for great content. Best on YouTube!

    • Rhys Hughes

      You are saving me during these dark times, thank you ❤️

    • Jorge Sandoval

      Weighted Dip 1:40 2:27
      Push-up w/ plyo tap 4:16
      Eccentric Floor Fly 5:35
      Dumbbell Benchpress 6:57
      Dumbbell Benchpress-up 8:19 9:13
      Pec. Minor posture-correction exercise 10:37 – 11:22
      Dumbbell UCV raise 12:14 / ‘low approach’ 12:51

    • Ryan Speck

      Love these workouts. Taking my training to another level. 💪🏽

    • Mauri

      Weighted Dip 1:40 2:27
      Push-up w/ plyo tap 4:16
      Eccentric Floor Fly 5:35
      Dumbbell Benchpress 6:57
      Dumbbell Benchpress-up 8:19 9:13
      Pec. Minor posture-correction exercise 10:37 – 11:22
      Dumbbell UCV raise 12:14 / ‘low approach’ 12:51

    • Burrito

      1. Weighted Dip 1:40
      2. Push-up w/ plyo tap 4:16
      3. Eccentric Floor Fly 5:35
      4. Dumbbell Benchpress 6:57
      5. Dumbbell Benchpress-up 8:19
      6. Pec. Minor posture-correction exercise 10:37
      7. Dumbbell CV raise 12:14 / ‘low approach’ 12:51

      This is for my self and I copied it off someone else

    • ATHLEAN-X™

      I can show you the best of best and the worst of the worst when it comes to chest exercises. See where they rank so that you never miss any gains with your selections –

      • alan alpal


      • CH 2011 COINS


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